This post was initially made to coldthewinter.com, but as I had to rebuild that site and build this one, I felt like it was more fitting here. So this is kind of a version 2.0 of this post, and another to follow, but more up to date than it was whenever I actually posted it.
Let’s break this into two sections:
“Why haven’t I been streaming?”
When I started the idea of releasing music under the KCWM name, I wanted to stream that process. For most of the first three albums I did just that, albeit at the cost of what little viewership I had. Then again, I didn’t start streaming games or music with the idea that I’d experience success.
After writing three 24 new songs and remixing 12 others across three albums and spread out over the course of six months, I was burned out. I used to think I wanted to play music for a living, but after working on music for 3-4 hours a day almost every day I realized that I do not.
I’ve never been great at multitasking. I tend to obsess over one thing for bursts of time and there are four activities that take up my “creative energy”: Gaming, painting D&D miniatures, writing my novel, and writing songs. I can generally do one and a half of those at a time. Couple burning out with starting up a couple of online games with my friends, I fell away from music.
The friends that I play games with are friends that I’ve grown up with and known for 30+ years. Our humor is not safe for stream and I didn’t want to spend the time to figure out how to keep our Discord chat out of the stream. As I wasn’t working on music, I didn’t stream that either.
Once Christmas rolled around. I was going to take December off. Christmas is a big deal for my family. We decorate our yard, and I don’t mean lining the house with lights. We have inflatables, wrap the trees, line the yard, garage, and fence. We dress up the poles on our porch, put lights on our bushes, and generally go the whole nine yards. We also spend almost every night driving around to look at Christmas lights. We have family time. Ellie is nine now, which is the age that memories REALLY start to take hold and I want her to have memories of us doing things as a family.
Then, at the beginning of January 2022, I was hospitalized with a severe case of Diabetic Ketoacidosis, or DKA. I came very close to dying and spent seven days in the ICU. After being released, my back was and still is in terrible shape. I struggled to sit for more than 30 minutes to an hour at a time and, even now, a month a half since that release, I struggle to sit for more than a couple of hours. It just hurts.
“What happened to Volume Four?”
Writing is a challenging process. Sometimes I have these amazing, creative bursts where things just come to me, and sometimes I slam my head against the wall trying to come up with something that speaks to me.
I wrote, learned, practiced, and recorded most of the 24 new songs I wrote for KCWM in a matter of hours, something that generally happens over the course of days, weeks, or months. My brain is the only brain in the creative process. This is both helpful and a hindrance. There’s no one to check me and say “Is that really the best thing?” and sometimes that happens internally well into the process. I then have to scrap what I realize isn’t working and start over a few steps back.
I also play everything…every guitar note you hear. If I were to use loops, where I record each part and then just copy/paste it, things would go MUCH faster. It’d be easier, but it wouldn’t be fulfilling. It’s also something I have not practiced. It feels GREAT to be able to say that I played something from start to finish, even I record it in separate parts (like the verses and choruses of “Sometimes It Works Out”). Perhaps I should consider it more for Volume Four and beyond.
“So what now?”
There have been folks that have been supportive of my music. I wouldn’t have recently crossed the threshold of 100k listens on Spotify without those folks. While 100k isn’t much for some people, for someone who has just over 260 followers on Twitter and less than 200 on Twitch, which amounts to an incredibly small online presence, it’s something I thought was impossible. I want them to know I haven’t given up, haven’t lost my drive, still intend to do this, and will continue coming out with fresh material.
As I wrap up being on short term disability for work and recovering from whatever injury this was to my back, I will return to streaming the recording process. I want to work on creating TikToks on how to play the parts I’ve written (that I can remember) and YouTube videos of how a song grows. That requires A LOT of creativity. I’m not there yet, but I want to be and that’s half the battle.